How I'm Voting, and Why

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This Sunday Belgians vote for local, regional, and European Union representatives. I'm going to vote for the party that I consider to be the most pro-business, pro-market, pro-competition. That is, the Greens. Here's why.

As a young man I voted for the Greens because they represented the vision of a clean Earth where people worked harder and consumed less. The Green movement was always a strange mix of hippy idealism and hard-nosed pragmatism. Consuming less, and living smarter: not options in a world with limited resources.

But that's not why I'm voting Green tomorrow. The main reason is that since 1999, the Green parties of Europe have consistently been the strongest voice in the European Parliament fighting for what I consider to be an ultra-capitalist vision of pure and real competition unfettered by cartels, monopolies, and political cronyism. When it comes to software patents, criminalisation of copyright law, retention of communications data, and the sharing of software developed with public funds, the European Green parties have consistently taken a consistent pro-market line, uninfluenced by lobbyists. Prominent leaders such as Eva Lichtengerber have hammered home the message: Europe depends on its diverse economy of small, innovative firms. The patent system, especially, is the corrupt tool of egomaniac politicians, monopolists like IBM and Microsoft, self-interested bureaucrats, and cynical speculators. It preys on the economic majority of creative SMEs, and taxes the consumer with fraudulent fees extorted through artificial monopolies.

While the other main parties seem unable to snap out of their wide-eyed love of industrial giants, the Greens have correctly understood that the role of the European Parliament is not to rubber-stamp texts written by industry and polished by the Commission. Government does not serve just industry, it serves everyone, and big industry is small, stupid, greedy, and ultimately wasteful part of the whole.

Thank you, Eva, for all the fights you started and finished in Brussels, on behalf of people like me, who ask nothing except the freedom to create. Tomorrow you get my vote, again.

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